2019 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings: From The College Perspective

2019 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings: From The College Perspective

2019 NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle Rankings: From The College Perspective

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Which defensive tackles will matter in the 2019 NFL Draft, and what’s the college perspective on all of the top prospects?


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This can and should go at least 20 deep, maybe 25. This is an all-time LOADED class of defensive tackles, and if you think your guy that isn’t on here should be, you’re almost certainly right. As is, these 15 prospects are all good enough to start, and the top prospects should be instant superstars with All-Pro upside.

15. Terry Beckner, Missouri

6-4, 296: If he was 100% healthy, he’d be a top 50 all-around talent. He’s going to slide and keep on dropping because of his history of knee injuries and his issues with power blockers, but there’s enough talent to take a shot. He was able to return from his problems to have a good career for Mizzou – 120 career tackles with 13.5 tackles for loss – but he’s going to be a part of a rotation. There’s a whole lot not to like, but he’s worth the chance on Day Three.
Projected Round: Sixth

14. Isaiah Buggs, Alabama

6-3, 306: Yeah, he was a stunning disaster on the workout circuit, but he plays with more quickness and athleticism than he showed at the combine. He’s got good enough strength to hold up well inside, and he proved his ability to produce with 103 tackles in the last two seasons with 9.5 sacks last year. He’s going to be a good-value Day Three starter.
Projected Round: Fifth

13. Dontavius Russell, Auburn

6-3, 319: Very experienced and very good for four years on the Auburn line, you know what you’re getting. He’s a big body to work on the inside, and he’s a strong late round tough guy who’ll bring the effort and the fight against the run. He’s not going to get behind the line, but there’s a shot he turns in to a phenomenal steal for a guy who might just turn into the anchor.
Projected Round: Sixth

12. Daylon Mack, Texas A&M

6-1, 336: An interesting tackle prospect, you know what he is, and it’s good enough. Don’t ask him to get into the backfield with any sort of quickness, but hope he can use his power to be a problem. Take his bowling ball of a body type, put it in the middle of the line, and let him take up space.
Projected Round: Fourth

11. Trysten Hill, UCF

6-3, 308: Stunningly athletic for a bulky defender, he’s a leader who can grow into nice part of a rotation for the line. He’s not going to generate too many sacks, but he can get into the backfield and be disruptive, and he can turn into a starter as long as brings the same motor from UCF to the NFL.
Projected Round: Fourth

10. (DE) Kingley Keke, Texas A&M

6-3, 288: Okay, okay, okay, he’s more of an end, but he’s likely going to be at his best somehow on the inside working in some sort of a tackle position. Put him at DT and let his quickness take over. He can easily get up to 300 and be a true tackle, or keep the weight off and flourish as a 3-4 end with sub-5.0 speed. Find a spot for him.
Projected Round: Third

9. Gerald Willis, Miami

6-2, 302: Can you fix the glitch? He came up with 59 tackles with four sacks and 18 tackles for loss last season, but he’ll get blasted by strong blockers and has to be able to use his body type to get better leverage. At worst, he’s a third down pass rusher – and a good one. At best, he’s a great part of a rotation who turns into more consistent run defender.
Projected Round: Third

8. Renell Wren, Arizona State

6-5, 318: He was good as a college player, but he has the skills and talent to blow up at the next level. The size is there, the NFL tools are undeniable, and he can work anywhere on a defensive interior. There’s work to do, the 81 tackles with three sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss in 29 games are just okay, and there’s bust potential … but the boom side is bigger. With his body and strength, you take that shot on Day Two.
Projected Round: Late Second

7. Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame

6-6, 295: He checked in a bit smaller than expected, but he’s got a great frame, can play bigger if he wants to, and he moves like a big end. The versatility is there to be a Day One starter, but he might be a high end tackle tweener. He can play in any scheme, but he could be a force with the right defensive coordinator who has a set plan of development.
Projected Round: Top 50 Overall

6. Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State

6-3, 281: The lack of raw bulk is a slight issue, but he plays big enough to hold his own. The quickness and activity are there to be a great Day Two value pick after the bigger name stars walk across the stage on Thursday night. Yeah, he can be powered on a bit, but he proved that he could be the main man on the line after Nick Bosa got hurt. Expect him to grow into a reliable interior pass rusher on a line with decent size.
Projected Round: Second


5. Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State

6-4, 301: In a massive class full of superstar defensive tackle prospects, are you okay with waiting and making sure Simmons’ knee injury heals 100%?

When healthy, he was a good, sound rock of a defensive tackle against the run, holding up well and letting everyone else around him make big plays behind the line.

However, he can get in the backfield, too. He’s got the quickness, the moves, and the athleticism to become a bigger statistical star …

If he’s healthy.

The character issues are well in the past – turning into a true student-athlete and star on and off the field after an ugly incident before coming to Mississippi State – and now it’s all about whether or not he can be the same player he was before the torn ACL.

He’ll slide out of the top 15 because of it, but give him a year, and the payoff will be massive.

Projected Round: First
Real Value: First

NEXT: No. 4 NFL Draft Defensive Tackle

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